South Carolina Swing Starts With Split For Baseball

South Carolina Swing Starts With Split For Baseball

FLORENCE, S.C. – Ohio Dominican's baseball team rode a 10-run first inning to best Clarion 16-10 in its first game in South Carolina, but ODU suffered a 7-1 setback in the nightcap against Fairmont State on Saturday.

In the opener, ODU (8-4) sent 13 runners to the plate in the first inning to break the game open early, though the Panthers had to sweat out some anxious moments later on.

Sophomore Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) hit an RBI double and junior Jace Komminsk (Worthington, Ohio) followed with a two-run single to give the Panthers an early 3-0 lead, and the offense continued to click from there. Senior Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio) hit a two-run double and senior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 6-0.

Junior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) then capped the inning with a grand slam to center field to give the Panthers the 10-run cushion.

Clarion chipped away, though, using a five-run sixth inning to close within 11-6. A sacrifice fly by junior Brian Hull (Gahanna, Ohio) and an RBI double from Childers in the seventh extended the lead to 13-6, but Clarion answered again, scoring four times in the bottom of the eighth to make it 13-10.

The Panthers put the game away for good in the top of the ninth, however. Childers hit a sacrifice fly and with two outs, Machuga smacked a two-run double to make it 16-10, accounting for the final margin.

ODU finished with just 10 hits in the game but drew 12 walks in the contest. Paterniti finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Kaucher went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, three runs and a walk. Machuga had two hits, a walk and drove in three, Komminsk drew three walks and finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs, and Childers also drew two walks and knocked in three.

Game two against Fairmont was scoreless through three innings, but the Falcons put up five runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth to break loose.

The Panthers scored their lone run in the sixth inning on Kaucher's RBI double, but left the bases loaded in that frame. ODU would strand 10 runners on base in the game.

ODU did receive strong relief pitching from senior Dustin Cowart (Hoover, Ala.), who went 1.2 scoreless innings while allowing just one hit, and sophomore Logan Brewer (Ashland, Ohio), who tossed 3.0 hitless innings, striking out four.

The Panthers take on Clarion at 1 p.m. Sunday, followed by a 4 p.m. contest against Fairmont State.

Contact: Scott Miles